I have kind of big news today! OK REALLY BIG NEWS TODAY!
I am going to offer my first MENTORING WORKSHOP!
It will be LIVE, INTERACTIVE, and designed to MAKE YOU MONEY!
So who’s ready to hear what this workshop is all about?
Today on the TFBM Website and Blog I give you 4 simple tips for creating sales with email campaigns. Try them out and let me know how it works.
I was going to send this information to my collaboration workshop group but thought it is helpful information to all so I am letting you, my readers, in on it too. When you do a giveaway or a collaboration and gain new fans it is important to engage your fans to turn them into buyers. It is also important to engage them to be sure you show up in their news feeds. Facebook shows your posts to people that stay active with your page. If you don’t have engaging content that your fans “like” or comment on your fans will stop seeing your posts. It’s that simple. Here are my top tips for engaging your fans and turn your fans into buyers.
ENGAGE YOUR FANS: Ways to get fans to like and comment.
ENGAGE YOUR FANS AND GET SALES: these ideas will get people to comment on your page and encourage sales!
GET SALES: bring home the bacon, make some moola, take the check to the bank
This morning I caught a news segment featuring Gabrielle Reece plugging her new book, My Foot is Too Big For The Glass Slipper. She summed it up that is about her step back from her career to find balance in her life and that she shares some unpleasant truths about her life to help her readers. She made one comment that resonated with me. I am ad-libbing but it went like this, “Where did women get the notion they should have it all. There is a certain sacrifice required to keep a family and career intact.”
Fast forward to this evening. I pulled out my last 5 issues of Marie Claire that I haven’t had a chance to read yet and started with the Fall 2012 @work issue. In the editor’s comments at the front of the magazine she states in this issue she is offering up “women who have not achieved necessarily balance but big lives that accommodate work, family, dating, travel, hobbies, and the pursuit of happiness whatever form it takes.”
I call these moments “life lessons beckoning”. When more than one unrelated source is delivering the same message at the same time, LISTEN!
One thing I lost in trying to grow my business was my role as a mother and wife. I am working ALL the time. My mind is on work when I am not working. It is hard for me to be present with my family. I resent this but can’t help myself. Somewhere in the business of fashion I have lost myself.
So I have a new plan. A plan that will change the way I operate my business and the way I design my collections. It changes the standard way of wholesaling and the relationships I have with my retailers. It changes everything. It is exactly what I need right now. I have a new plan to move forward with my business in a way that will allow me to be present with my family, live by my principles and own my own fashion company!
I have realized that while the wholesale fashion business has a certain way of operating, it doesn’t work for me and my business. I still want to be a part of it but I have to create a way of operating that works for me and invite retailers to be a part of it. Somewhere along the way I forgot that I offer something special and unique. It is something people want to buy. I have let showroom reps and market sales dim my confidence. I have let production woes burden my design time. I have let bad ordering and payment protocols of the industry put my family in struggling financial times.
But no more. Big changes are coming for kangacoo designs in the coming months. I have a plan that I think will work for all small designers trying to make it in the fashion industry. I am keeping it under wraps as I put it in place for my company and test it but along the way I will be sharing bits with you.
In the meantime I am working on 2 new and exciting blog segments. A Social Media Marketing workshop where I will introduce you to women that can help you grow your audience and teach you how to engage the audience you have. And a Supplier Virtual Tradeshow where I introduce you to suppliers of the materials you already use to broaden your sourcing arena.
Stay tuned and hold on! We are going onward and upward…together!
Here I am poking my head out of my hole. I have missed writing and interacting with you all. Seems that lately my days are planning me instead of the other way around.
I recently posted on my fb page that I would write about a large (650 piece) international order I worked on for an overseas company. Between that post and now I have received several emails asking questions about handling international inquiries. Identifying if an inquiry is valid and if the company will actually pay you for your product should be more than just taking a leap of faith. Here are my tips for qualifying an international inquiry before moving forward with the order.
1. Hello Google my old friend!
It is amazing how much you can learn from googling an email address. Even an international one. I have been able to weed out an inquiry from Japan that was just a mom blogger wanting to offer her friends cheap American clothes. I have been able to identify an inquiry was from Syria who we are not allowed as Americans to conduct business with. I have also been able to find the person inquiring on LinkedIn and was able to verify they had a valid business.
2. Will I get on a watch list for doing business with you?
Be sure to look up US Sanctions regarding the company making an inquiry. My recent order was with Lebanon, a corner of the world the US does not have good relations with. There are many people and companies in Lebanon and surrounding countries that the US has sanctioned US citizens cannot do business with. If you do, your assets and the FBI will be at your door. It doesn’t matter what you sell them, cotton balls are still a violation. To look up a country just google “united states sanctions ______” the blank is the country you plan to do business with.
3. Ask for a web address.
Just as you want to be sure quality retailers are offering your product in the US take the same care in other countries. Check out their web page to learn about their company. Some may not have one if they only sell in a store.
4. Ask for a 50% deposit or all the money up front.
You need to secure the materials to complete the order so this will cover costs. It will also cover you if the company backs out of the order at the last-minute leaving you with product and debt. A company not willing to give a deposit should raise a red flag for you.
So now that you have qualified your order you can write your PO and terms. And that my friends is a future post.
I always welcome your questions and emails to email@example.com. I am also on the lookout for guest bloggers. Email me if you are interested.
I don’t talk too much about my personal life here. But today I will give you a little insight to the woman behind the business, me. I started kangacoo designs when I was 3 months pregnant and found myself laid off from a six figure corporate job. Ouch! I took my sales and marketing skills and combined them with my desire to have a creative career, then combined that with my nesting instincts and started sewing baby blankets. With more time to surf the web I found Etsy and kangacoo was born!
ka*ng*acoo; ka=Katie my first name, ng=Nguyen my married last name, coo=what babies do and I was about to have one. (The a just made it flow and referenced a word everyone knows to make the name more memorable.)
Fast forward 4 years and now I run kangacoo with my husband (who was also laid off from a good paying job). We balance work and play and caring for Marlise. It’s not always easy but it works for us. Here’s what we look like in case you are curious. We just took this on the 4th. 🙂
I have worked hard to grow my business and got some lucky introductions. (But again I think that was through hard work of reaching out to lots of people. Always give yourself credit, no one is just lucky in work success.) Since kangacoo is the sole supporter of our household we really have to focus on making the business more profitable. I wanted to share with you one way we are doing this. Exploring different revenue streams.
I challenge you to explore different revenue streams for your business too. Here are some to start with:
1. Create products with lower price points.
Can you make coordinating hairbows to match your dresses? Perhaps a matching doll dress to offer? Do you make accessories? Is there a new one you can add that is less expensive? By creating different price points you broaden your audience.
2. Create special occasion pieces.
Do you make every items? How about adding a few special occasion pieces? Special occasion shoppers are a huge part of the market. Adding in these pieces will boost sales!
3. Flash Sales on Facebook.
Do you hold flash sales on Facebook? These are a huge success for me. Offer a product at a sale price and have fans leave their Paypal address on the post. Send a bill and ship. It is easier to send them to the shop but I find I make more sales by selling direct on Facebook.
4. Find a New Audience.
And keep the old of course. I sell on facebook and Etsy (and wholesale but I am going to stick to retail today.) Have you thought of adding a new venue like Artfire? or maybe Ebay? It is a whole new shop to manage but if you think you can sell product and manage another shop give it a try.
Not ready for another shop to manage? How about virtual trunk shows. This is something I am venturing into. Having others sell your product and rewarding them is a great way to spread the word about your company.
I am always happy to answer your questions. And you just may find them anonomously featured here! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org